Can Transformers Change Frequency?
Based on the basic working principle of industrial transformers, the units cannot be used to change frequency. During operation, the frequency of the current is dictated by the input, which is fixed. Transformers are mainly used to convert or rectify voltages, not frequency.
Frequency and Transformers
Applying a transformer to a non-compatible supply (with a frequency that does not match the unit’s ratings) may result in increased temperature rise, core saturation and energy-related inefficiencies.
In transformers, the frequency of the primary and secondary voltages should be the same. The presence of varying or changing frequencies can result in the unwanted formation of harmonics on the output side. Harmonics can be damaging to systems and should be avoided at all costs.
Variable Frequency Drives
If a change in frequency is required, businesses may instead consider using a variable frequency device or cyclo converter. The need to convert frequencies is common when using equipment originating from manufacturers that comply with and strictly cater to local electrical standards. For instance, powering a device that was purchased in the US, which runs on 120V AC 60 Hz, in a country that relies on and only has access to 50 Hz.